As the building stage of the new Si lab chamber draws to a close, there is a final step - bakeout (info) - build an oven around your system and cook it for a few days. This process removes any water or pesky hydrocarbons inside the chamber.
As with anything in experimental physics, there are 2 ways of achieving bakeout: the expensive (or 'Graphene Centre') way, or the funny way.
And this is the most flattering angle.
After the first bake the pressure was too high. So more drilling to get rid of virtual leaks. After the second bake Duncan found a tiny (4e-9) leak in an old gate-valve. Only £2k to replace, and many thanks Scanwel for super-fast delivery (http://www.scanwel.co.uk/ ). Now the pressures are all middle -10 torr. Not great, but at least we can now test the microscope and new Nanonis control system.